Time Warner has bid about $1.4 billion for Netherlands-based entertainment producer Endemol. The debt-laden producer of ‘Big Brother’ has been trying to restructure its debts for more than a year and Time Warner is reportedly ready to put up another $100 million in fresh working capital.
A few days ago, Endemol gained permission from its lenders to extend the terms of its loans for a second time, but with mid-November as the cut-off date.
Endemol is owned by a consortium comprising Silvio Berlusconi’s Mediaset operation, bankers Goldman Sachs and founder John De Mol. The consortium acquired Endemol in 2007 with €2.8 billion of mostly borrowed cash.
However, the Time Warner deal has no guarantee of success. Mediaset has itself offered to buy out senior debt holders and take 51 per cent of the business. Last year, Endemol made a net loss €1.29 billion even though revenues increased 4.7 per cent to €1.25 billion. In June, its CEO Ynon Kreiz resigned, citing a difference of opinion on the company’s future.